United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
Alice Theiler United States Magistrate Judge.
a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 prisoner civil rights action.
Plaintiff has filed two motions that request injunctive
relief, partial summary judgment, appointment of counsel,
copies of court documents, and extensions of court deadlines.
(Dkts. 76, 77; see also Dkt. 79.) Defendants have
filed a response. (Dkt. 78.) Having considered the
parties' submissions, the balance of the record, and the
governing law, the Court finds and ORDERS:
Plaintiff's primary complaint is that defendants have
refused to grant him access to his legal materials. The Court
DEFERS RULING on plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief
pending additional briefing from the parties. The Court is
concerned by plaintiff's claim that defendants are
withholding his legal materials, including an amended
complaint he drafted to file in this action. Accordingly, by
September 27, 2019, defendants shall file a
supplemental response that addresses (a) the location of all
of plaintiff's legal property held by the DOC, (b) the
amount/types of legal property that is held at each location,
(c) the formal efforts plaintiff has made to acquire his
legal property, (d) the reasons plaintiff's requests have
been denied, and (e) any further steps plaintiff must take to
acquire his property through DOC channels. Plaintiff may file
a supplemental reply by October 18, 2019.
Court also DEFERS RULING on plaintiff's motion for
partial summary judgment.
Plaintiff asks the Court to appoint counsel because
defendants have interfered with his ability to litigate this
case by withholding his legal materials. Generally, a person
has no right to counsel in a civil action. See Campbell
v. Burt, 141 F.3d 927, 931 (9th Cir. 1998). In certain
“exceptional circumstances, ” the Court may
request the voluntary assistance of counsel for indigent
civil litigants under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1).
Agyeman v. Corrections Corp. of Am., 390 F.3d 1101,
1103 (9th Cir. 2004). When determining whether
“exceptional circumstances” exist, the Court
considers “the likelihood of success on the merits as
well as the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his
claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues
involved.” Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954
(9th Cir. 1983). Neither factor is dispositive, and they must
be viewed together before reaching a decision on a request
for counsel. Id.
has not established exceptional circumstances at this time.
He does not address the likelihood of success on the merits
of his claim, and although he has had trouble accessing his
legal materials, he appears able to articulate his complaints
pro se given that the legal issues are not
particularly complex. Accordingly, the Court DENIES his
request for appointment of counsel without prejudice.
Plaintiff asks the Court to provide the names and case
numbers for all the lawsuits he has filed since June 2009. He
also asks the Court to provide him with copies of all the
complaints and evidence he submitted in these cases. Finally,
he asks the Court to provide him with copies of his two
pending motions because the law librarian refused his request
to e-file them and thus he was forced to mail his only copies
to the Court. Given the apparent problems plaintiff has had
with e-filing, the Court GRANTS his request for courtesy
copies of his motions. The Court also GRANTS his request for
a courtesy copy of a list of case names and numbers. If
plaintiff would like any additional court records, however,
he must pre-pay, at a rate of $0.50 per page, for the number
of pages he requests. He may direct requests for specific
documents to the Clerk's office. The Clerk's office
will inform him of the total charge for the pages and mail
the requested documents after plaintiff submits payment.
Finally, plaintiff asks the Court to extend the deadlines for
him to file a motion for leave to amend, for discovery, and
for dispositive motions. Defendants do not oppose these
requests. Accordingly, the Court establishes the following
Deadline for plaintiff to file a motion for leave to amend
complaint: November 1, 2019
Deadline for discovery: January 31, 2020
Deadline for dispositive motions: March 6,
party seeking to extend these deadlines must show good
Clerk is directed to RE-NOTE plaintiff's motions for
injunctive relief and partial summary judgment (Dkts. 76, 77)
for October 18, 2019.
Clerk is directed to send copies of this order to the parties
and to the Honorable John C. Coughenour. The Clerk also is
directed to send plaintiff courtesy copies of his motions
(Dkts. 76, 77) and a list of case ...